Fact Sheet regarding mobile phone while driving. Using a mobile phone diverts the attention of the driver away from the task at hand and affects reaction times, braking ability, vehicle control and decision making.
The likelihood of having a crash increases by four times when using a mobile phone whilst driving.
Using a mobile phone diverts the attention of the driver away from the task at hand and affects reaction times, braking ability, vehicle control and decision making.
The use of a mobile phone while driving falls into all four categories of driving distraction:
- Physical Distraction: Caused by the physical handling of the phone
- Auditory Distraction: Caused by ringing of the phone and the conversation itself
- Visual Distraction: Occurs when taking your eyes of the road to look at the phone
- Cognitive Distraction: Occurs when you have to perform two mental tasks at the same time i.e. recalling or memorising information when talking to the caller
In all Australian States and Territories, it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone whilst driving, however, your mobile phone may be used to make or receive calls, use the audio/music functions or the navigation/GPS system, as long as the phone:
- is secured in a commercially designed holder attached to your vehicle, or
- able to be operated without touching any part of the phone, including resting the phone on any part of the driver’s body
All of other functions of the phone are e.g. texting and emailing, are prohibited to be used.
Despite the exceptions listed above, the safest process to follow when driving is to switch off your mobile phone or place it on silent mode so in order to avoid any unnecessary distractions.
And remember, if you are caught using a mobile phone whilst driving, it will incur a hefty penalty – 4 Demerit points and a $443 fine.
Driving is a complex task – the simple way to make driving safer is to reduce the number of activities that may distract you while you are driving